It’s time to start talking about the music for your wedding and meeting with potential DJs about your big day.
What questions should I ask a wedding DJ (The Basics)?
These are the first questions that you will want to ask any wedding DJs that you interview.
Are you available on our wedding day?
The very first thing to find out is if the DJ is available on your wedding date.
If they are not available, ask for referrals. Wedding DJs from the same area typically know each other from wedding expos and vendor events.
Do you have multiple DJs working for your company? If so, can we please view their bio online?
If the DJ company has multiple people working for them, make sure you ask questions about the DJ being offered to you.
- Can you see their bio and reviews online? – You want to know the experience of the person who will be in charge of your wedding reception.
- Is it possible to meet them in person or chat over Zoom or Skype? – This will give you a chance to see the DJ’s people skills and personality.
- How many weddings has the DJ done for the company owner? – Everybody has to start somewhere, but you will probably want to stay away from a DJ who has only done 1-2 weddings.
Have you worked at our wedding venue before?
While the answer to this questions should not be a deal breaker, it would be nice to work with someone who is familiar with the layout of your wedding venue.
They will be able to arrive and start setting up. They will most likely already know the venue rules. It simply makes the process more simple (the more simple, the less amount of stress on the wedding day).
Are you will willing to work with our other vendors (especially our wedding coordinator, photographer and videographer) to ensure a stress free experience?
A team of wedding vendors should be just like the name implies, a team!
You want a DJ who is willing to talk with your other wedding professionals before the wedding to make sure everyone is on the same page.
You definitely want a DJ who will work in concert with everyone else to make sure nothing is missed.
- An example of this would be the cake cutting or parent dances. – Your DJ should make sure to make contact with the photographer and videographer before announcing anything that needs to be documented. We have worked weddings in the past where the DJ announced the cake cutting while the photographer was outside taking exterior photos of the venue. You want to make sure that this does not happen at your wedding.
- Another example of when it’s important for the DJ to work with your vendors is when it comes to the audio for your videographer. – We once worked a wedding where the DJ refused to allow the videographer to tap into the sound system. The videographer was forced to tape a microphone to the external speaker in order to record audio of the intros and other events. The low audio quality really made the production value of the video suffer.
Tip: Make sure your DJ is willing to talk over the phone with your videographer BEFORE the wedding day. This way they can make a plan that works for everyone. The DJ can tell the videographer which cables to bring. The videographer can explain exactly what he/she needs to make the audio sound it’s best.
Remember, this day is all about making dreams come true for the newly married couple (hey, that’s you!). You only want to work with wedding vendors who understand that.
Make sure you ask this question about working with your other vendors.
What items are we responsible for providing to you?
- This is to simply find out what, if anything, you or the venue need to provide the DJ.
- Some common items that they may need are: long tables, small round tables, linens, chairs, etc.
- You will want to know this info for each thing/area the DJ is working (ceremony site, cocktail hour, reception, photo booth, etc.)
What do you like about being a wedding DJ?
This is a simple question to ask that will help you learn about the DJ’s personality. There is no right or wrong answer.
How long have you been a DJ? How many weddings have you done?
It’s a good idea to find out what experience your DJ has, especially with weddings. A DJ can make or break a wedding reception. You want someone who knows the ins and outs of a wedding reception (and ceremony if the DJ is providing this service)
Do you have insurance?
- Many wedding venues will want to see proof of insurance from each of your vendors. You might not even know this until a few months before the wedding.
- Do yourself a huge favor and only hire wedding professionals who are insured.
- If someone trips over a loose cable or microphone stand and gets hurt, you want to make sure the DJ is covered in case of a lawsuit (otherwise it could set up a nightmare scenario between you, the venue, the DJ and the person who got hurt).
Pricing, Payment and Contract Questions For Your DJ
What DJ packages do you offer? What is the price for each package and what do they include?
Many DJs will have packages for 4 hours, 5 hours and 6 hours.
Some packages might include things like:
- Ceremony and/or cocktail hour
- Photo booth
- Uplighting/mood lighting for reception room
- Party lights for the dance floor
Ask if tax is included in the quoted price, or if it’s later added onto the quote that you receive.
How does the payment plan, contract and deposit process work?
You will want to know the following:
- The full package price with tax
- The deposit amount
- When the remaining balance is due
All of these items and totals should be in your contract.
Is there an option to add additional time if the event ends up going over the scheduled time? What are your overtime rates?
There are times when a wedding reception is so fun that the guests want to keep dancing. If the venue approves it, you will want to know if your DJ is willing to go overtime. It’s best to know that rate before the wedding (make sure it’s in the contract).
*Tip – Find out if the overtime rate is billed by the hour, or if it can be broken down into smaller time chunks.
Example: If your DJ charges $250 per extra hour, is it possible to pay $125 if you only need them for 30 minutes? It’s best to ask this question before signing the contract. There is not right or wrong answer. You simply want to know the details (make sure they are in the contract).
Do you charge for set up and and break down?
Typically this is included in the price, but it’s best to ask before signing the contract. If the DJ charges separately for this, you run risk of the DJ taking his/her time while breaking down equipment or setting it all up. We recommend going with a DJ who does not charge extra for set up/break down.
How many people from your company will be working the event?
If you are proving meals for your vendors, you will want to find out how many people from the company you are purchasing food for.
Do we need to provide you with a meal or do you bring your own food?
This goes with the question above. Typically the couple provides a meal for their wedding vendors. Some vendors even have it in their contract.
If we sign a contract with your company for a specific DJ, what happens if that DJ leaves the company before the wedding?
This is a really important question to ask if the company you are considering has multiple DJs working for them.
If you find a DJ who has the perfect personality for your wedding and has a ton of experience working weddings, you don’t want to get stuck with a brand new DJ who has only worked 1-10 events if your original DJ quits between the time of hire and your wedding date.
Ask what the refund/cancellation policy is if this happens. The odds are that it will not happen, but it’s best to know now just in case.
What happens if you or our hired DJ gets sick on our wedding day?
It’s the question that nobody likes to ask, but it’s an important one. You want to make sure that the DJ has a plan in place in case of an emergency.
Questions About Music For Your Wedding DJ
What genres of music do you cover?
Most DJs will be able to get any song that you want. Find out how often they update their music catalog. you will want to make sure that your DJ has access to the latest hits as well as the classic favorites.
How do you handle song requests?
Most DJs allow song requests (unless the couple does not want to allow it).
There are now services like RequestNow that allow your guests to send text message requests to your DJ from the dance floor. The songs are automatically added to a list for the DJ. They can then go through the list and play the songs that fit best with your party. Ask your DJ is they offer a service like this. It’s pretty awesome!
Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list to prior to the reception?
Hey, it’s your wedding reception. If you don’t want to hear Cha Cha Slide or anything by Nickleback, that’s your call! Don’t feel bad about adding a few songs that you can’t stand to your “Do Not Play” list.
Will you help us choose music for the ceremony and reception (processional, recessional, first dance, parent dances, etc.)
If you are having a hard time picking music for any specific part of the day, your DJ should be able to offer some great advice. Don’t forget, they have done this more than a few times.
Here are some wedding events that you might need specific songs for:
- Mood music while guests arrive to the ceremony site
- The wedding ceremony processional and recessional
- Unity candle or sand ceremony
- Cocktail hour
- Wedding party wedding reception entrance
- First dance
- Parent dances
- Cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss
- Exit song for the couple at the end of the night.
What are your most requested wedding reception songs? What gets played at almost every wedding?
It’s a great way to see how in-tune the DJ is with the wedding industry.
What do you typically do if you are playing a song and the dance floor starts to empty?
A good DJ will be able to see what is working and more importantly, what is not working when it comes to reception music.
find out what the DJ does it the dance floor starts to get empty.
Most will have tricks to getting them back out on the dance floor (it might be as simple as putting on a slow song or 2 to get everyone back out there).
Questions for your wedding DJ (The logistics of the day/night)
Will you work with us on the order of events?
you will want to get some ideas from your DJ, wedding coordinator and photo/video team on the timeline of your reception. As a team, you will be able to come with a good plan on when everything should take place. Once people start dancing, you typically want to limit the amount of times that you need to clear the dance floor for things like cake cutting and parent dances.
Your DJ should be able to give you some good advice (but make sure you also talk with the other vendors working the reception)
If needed, is there an option for a separate microphone and sound system for the ceremony and reception sites?
You will want to know the set ups for each location. Will there be a big time gap in between the ceremony and cocktail hour music because the DJ needs to move all of the equipment? Maybe there is an option to pay extra to have extra set ups.
Find out what you need and then ask for prices.
Do you bring backup equipment to the event?
This is big one. If you want our opinion, we do not recommend hiring a DJ who does not have a backup system onsite.
Even if the DJ says something like, “I’ve never had a problem before”. Well guess what? Sh!t happens.
Make sure your DJ has a backup system in case of any problems.
Will you provide a wireless microphone for the toasts?
It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s nice to have a microphone to go wherever you need it.
What will you wear to our wedding? What will you wear when setting up or tearing down?
It’s a simple question to ask. There is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on your personality and your specific event.
Do you set up a sign or banner with your company name/logo? If so, can we see what it looks like?
You do not want the DJ booth to look like a giant advertisement or billboard at your wedding.
What is your policy on drinking and smoking during the event?
It’s one of those questions that seems like a no-brainer, but you should ask. Most wedding DJs are very professional, but we have witnessed DJs taking constant smoke breaks at weddings before. It is terrible customer service that you want to avoid. We have also witnessed a DJ booth with 4-5 empty beer bottles on the table. It’s best to ask about their policy up front and get it all out in the open.
Is there anything else that you want to share?
Chances are, you have already covered everything there is to know. This gives the DJ a chance to let you know about anything that might be specific to that DJ or to your area.
Is there anything you would like to know about us?
Your Dj might have a few questions about your wedding reception.
What To Look For In A DJ For A Wedding
Ask if they have a few videos of them working a wedding. Many DJs have a promo video that show them doing their thing. This will give you an idea of their personality.
How long do you need a DJ for a wedding?
Most DJ packages are 4-6 hours. There are typically add-ons like cocktail hour coverage and/or ceremony coverage.
How much does it cost to hire a DJ for a wedding?
The average start price (4 hours) of hiring a wedding DJ for 2021 is between $700-$1300
How important is a DJ at a wedding?
A wedding DJ can really make or break the wedding reception. You are not simply hiring someone to push play on a song list.
Your DJ typically plays many important roles for your wedding including:
- Setting the mood for your ceremony
- Getting your guests warmed up with great music at cocktail hour
- They are responsible for getting the wedding party lined up and announced into the reception (a great DJ will get your guests hyped up and excited about your big entrance)
- Announcing details about the first dance, parent dances, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet, garter toss and other reception events.
- Giving details about dinner service and the bar
- Keeping the dance floor packed (making sure to play songs that appeal to all of your guests)
- Giving guests the correct information about shuttle buses and sparkler exits
Things to Tell Your Wedding DJ Before The Big Event To Avoid Any Problems or Surprises
Here is a list of things that you will want to request from or provide to your DJ before the wedding reception:
- Request no green/pink dots/lights during first dance or parent dances (spot lights are the only lights that should be used during these dances). These lights will ruin your photos. Save the crazy party lights for the open dance floor.
- Print out a sheet that has the contact names/numbers of any other vendors who are working at the wedding reception.
- If the venue gave you a rules/regulations sheet, there is most likely a section in there that is specifically for the DJ. Print this out and give him/her a copy.
- If you are doing a sparkler exit, let your DJ know ahead of time. The venue will typically have a specific time that these exits take place. You will most likely lose 1-2 songs worth of music to make time for the exit. Your DJ needs to know this ahead of time so he/she can play your last song of the night at the correct time.
Questions To Ask If Booking or Renting A Photo Booth Through Your DJ
- How long do we get the photo booth for?
- Will there be an attendant at the photo booth to help our guests?
- Does we get prints from the photo booth?
- If prints are included, how many copies are printed each session (if there are 4 people in the photo, do all 4 get a copy?)
- Does the couple receive a digital copy of all photos that were taken in the booth?
- Are props included with the photo booth, or do we need to provide them?
- What are you responsible for supplying? (table for printer & props, extension cords, chair, etc.)
Questions To Ask If You Are Hiring Your DJ To Provide Uplighting At Your Wedding
- Are your lights wireless?
- Are they LED?
- Can you easily change the colors of your lights to perfectly match the existing light in the room?
- Do you carry extra lights in case something breaks?
- How many lights do we get in our package?
- Can we please some photos of reception rooms that you have set up lights for?
Wedding Planning Tips For Choosing The Perfect Wedding Songs and Music
- 197 of the best wedding reception dance songs.
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- Out top mother son dance songs.
- 67 heavy metal and hard rock songs to use at your wedding.
- The best pop punk songs to liven up your wedding reception dance floor.
- Some of the best Elvis Presley songs to play at your wedding.